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What recourse do I have if I believe a moderator has abused his/her privileges?

I asked a question on Meta that was inappropriately closed by a moderator who incorrectly thought that it was a duplicate of another question which was hardly even similar.

At this point I am stuck:

  • I cannot reopen the question. This requires 5 votes from 5 people who each have unreasonable amount of rep. I don't know that many people who are that active on an obscure meta-website.
  • I cannot delete the question.
  • I cannot contact the moderator, or indeed any moderator, to ask them to undo their error.
share|improve this question

marked as duplicate by Brad Mace, Toon Krijthe, Rory, jadarnel27, Al E. Aug 14 '12 at 17:21

This question has been asked before and already has an answer. If those answers do not fully address your question, please ask a new question.

Super User then? – random Apr 9 '10 at 13:02
I don't believe you, look at your rep now – juan Apr 9 '10 at 13:02
Oh, okay, it's this one:… – random Apr 9 '10 at 13:05
I'm sorry, I don't understand these comments. What is it that you don't believe me? And what is "random♦" talking about in the first comment? – Timwi Apr 9 '10 at 13:09
@Timwi - You'll have to excuse them. It's Friday and things aren't supposed to make sense on meta, even for serious questions. Ponies coalesce iridescence skeet. – Adam Davis Apr 9 '10 at 13:29
indeed my friend @pol, indeed incandescent ponies ftw – juan Apr 9 '10 at 13:41
<p lang="friday meta">@dow, Waffle unicorn? Pony rainbow!</p> – perbert Apr 9 '10 at 13:43
Maybe you perceive it as being incorrectly perceived. I perceive it as being correctly perceived. If your perception doesn't match the community's perception then perhaps you need to adjust your perception. – Aarobot Apr 9 '10 at 13:45
I perceive it as being correctly perceived. @aargh, my head hurts. – perbert Apr 9 '10 at 13:46
@json: I don't think that "recourse" is a verb. – Aarobot Apr 9 '10 at 13:47
@aaron, better? – perbert Apr 9 '10 at 13:49
@json: Much better! – Aarobot Apr 9 '10 at 13:51
@json - the question was closed by a moderator, not the community. Your edit changed signficantly the sense of the issue, i.e., it's not clear that the OP would complain about a "community" close. In this case it was a single admin vote that closed it. – tvanfosson Apr 9 '10 at 15:20
@TrueWill: downvotes can mean disagreement on MetaSO. – perbert Jul 25 '10 at 7:14
up vote 11 down vote accepted

Your question has two parts. The first part, "How do you find questions to answer?" is a duplicate of How to find the right questions that I can answer?.

The second part of your question, "Why is the most obvious feature, namely to list unanswered questions with a specific tag, still not implemented? Is it because no-one actually needs it?" is a duplicate of Is there a way to get truly unanswered questions of a certain tag?

If you believe your question is different, then you have a few options:

  • Re-write the question emphasizing the differences and why the existing questions don't help.
  • Comment on the question explaining the differences
  • Flag for moderator attention and request that it be re-evaluated in light of your changes and comments
  • Re-post a new question with the differences emphasized
  • Post on meta and request the community explain why the moderator took a particular action (which is what you did, so you're already on the right track)

But at the moment, your question is not differentiable from the existing questions.

share|improve this answer
Thanks. I think this was the most helpful answer. So next time I'll try your advice: edit the question emphasising the differences (it is unintuitive that one should do that on a question already closed), and flag for moderator attention (unintuitive because flagging is usually for offensive or illegal stuff). I already did #2 (comment; didn't help) and #4 (re-posting; doesn't seem very popular, but at least it didn't get closed right away). – Timwi Apr 9 '10 at 14:00
@Timwi A moderator is unlikely to re-open a question that was closed by the community based only on edits, because once they do that the community can't then decide they still want to close it. So flagging for moderator attention won't help you much. Better to respond in comments. You can also try posting here, but posting to meta tends to sound too much like whining. – Joel Coehoorn Apr 9 '10 at 14:06
@Joel - the question wasn't closed by the community. It was closed by a mod. Perhaps they would be more amenable to reopening in that case. – tvanfosson Apr 9 '10 at 15:23
@tvanfosson: it was closed twice. – perbert Apr 9 '10 at 15:49
@json - was the first one nullified by a mod (if so, why was it closed by another mod?) or the community? If by the community, then it's the same scenario - single moderator vote closed it. – tvanfosson Apr 9 '10 at 16:09

You say you have no recourse. You have some (in order):

  • Post a comment on your post for others to see out in the open, others may or may not flag on your behalf as well.
  • Flag a post for moderator attention - The mods will read this and your problem will be addressed.
  • Post your grievance here on Meta about their actions and what you feel was done in error.
  • Email the mod directly, or in the last course, the email address at the bottom of the sites.
share|improve this answer
#1: I did post a comment; #2: Next time I'll try flagging (it is unintuitive because flagging is normally for offensive/illegal posts); #3: I did that with this question here; #4: no e-mail address on the mod's page, and e-mailing the site itself I think would be inappropriate. Thanks for your answer. – Timwi Apr 9 '10 at 14:07
+1 for a helpful answer, but I feel that this moderator power is open to abuse. – TrueWill Jul 25 '10 at 1:46
@TrueWill - which is why moderators are not that many, and can easily see and cancel actions from other moderators if there is a problem. There are not many actions that can't be easily undone. Closing and deleting are things which are easy to change. The steps suggested by random are the way to go, in my opinion. – Gnoupi Jul 25 '10 at 8:36
+1 to @Timwi's comment - agreed that flagging is not intuitive, and that there is no clear way to contact some moderators (look at @random's profile on Meta, for instance). – TrueWill Jul 25 '10 at 17:22

There is an issue here in that moderator votes are binding. While in this case I happen to agree that it is a duplicate, perhaps moderators should refrain from being the first close vote on all but the most obvious of candidates for closure (SPAM, for example).

share|improve this answer
New mods are told to be very careful and mindful of the fact that their votes are binding and superpowered. 3k user habits die hard. – random Apr 9 '10 at 15:44
@random - Perhaps moderators should get a completely different set of "close" tools to cast binding votes and regular close tools for simply exercising their personal opinions. – tvanfosson Apr 9 '10 at 15:50
Mods should always be open to being called out if their actions cause the community grief. But allowing for different weighted mod votes has been floated:… – random Apr 9 '10 at 15:58
  • I cannot reopen the question. This requires 5 votes from 5 people who each have unreasonable amount of rep. I don't know that many people who are that active on an obscure meta-website.

There are many active users here.

  • I cannot delete the question.


  • I cannot contact the admin, or indeed any admin, to ask them to undo their error.

This was not the doing of an admin, but rather the active community.

If you want your questions reopened, don't post duplicate questions, just reword it into shape so as enough people vote to reopen.

share|improve this answer

Move along people, no new information to see here.

See this answer, found by Random.

I have an answer to your original question.

I am providing this here because your other questions are closed. If I understand your original question correctly, you were asking for a way to find "questions that have no upvoted answers with specific tags", i.e. there may be some answers, but any existing answers must have zero or less as their vote score. I see this an being very different from "zero answers" which is the effect of the advice you have been given from every other direction.

To get a list of "questions with no upvoted answers" for a specific tag do the following:

  • From the main page, click "unanswered", then, from the available tags on the right hand side, click the tag you are interested in.

This has the disadvantage that you are only presented with around 20 tags to select from (although the list narrows as you pick more).


  • On the "Unanswered" page, just below the "Ask a question" button there are 3 buttons titled "my tags", "newest" and "votes". Clicking "my tags" will show unanswered questions that are tagged with any of the tags that you have specified as interesting (see your home page, prefs tab to set your own interesting tags)

Finally, if you want to just specify any tag:

Does this answer your original query?

In providing this answer that as far as I can see has not been given before (either to the original question or in the cited "duplicates") I think that this demonstrates that the closure was not entirely valid as this answers differs from those given to the suggested dupes.

I considered posting this answer to one of the suggested dupes, but the dupes all seem to focus on the "answers:0" concept, whereas this is "no upvoted answers".

I would be happy to move this answer (minus this speechy bit) to the original question if someone would consider re-opening it. If I am correct and my answer really is new information to this collection of threads, I do happen to think the originals closure was slightly unjustified and I would hope that the moderator in question re-consider in light of this new answer (which clearly belongs with the original question and not here).

If I have misunderstood the original question, or have missed that this answer has been posted somewhere else, please accept my apologies. I'm just trying to ensure that this functionality is made known to someone who seems to require it.

share|improve this answer
@Random. Ahah. Missed that one. May I suggest that link be included in the dupe list at the top of the original question. I don't have editing rep. – Simon P Stevens Apr 10 '10 at 0:32
Done. But it was quicker to just re-open, re-close as dupe. – random Apr 10 '10 at 0:42
@Random: Nice one. – Simon P Stevens Apr 10 '10 at 1:01

I completely agree with the OP. I just had a question closed as off-topic by a moderator:

Perhaps formatting code in CodePlex discussions isn't programming related. But it would be nice if voting were involved in deciding that.

share|improve this answer
However, I would recommend you to post your own question, in such case, to deal with your case separately. – Gnoupi Jul 25 '10 at 8:39
@Gnoupi - I thought of that, but felt that it would be a duplicate on Meta. I ended up following @random's advice. But thanks! – TrueWill Jul 25 '10 at 17:10
every question is a different case, so it wouldn't be a duplicate. – Gnoupi Jul 25 '10 at 18:52

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